Brown vs Canisius Preview and Prediction
Brown vs Canisius Preview
The Canisius Golden Griffins (5-8, 2-0) just needed to get to conference play and their season began to turn around. A 3-8 non-conference start has been eased after the Griffs have won their first two MAAC games–both on the road to start the new year.
Canisius returns home for their final non-league game of the season. Will it stop their winning ways?
The Brown Bears (10-4) hope so as they come in winners of four straight games and 10 of their last 12. Simply put, the Bears have not been tamed recently.
In their last game, Brown earned a 75-67 win over Maine last Wednesday. Desmond Cambridge led four double figure Brown scorers with 19 points, helping the Bears stay undefeated (7-0) at home. The Bears, who connected on 19-of-20 free throws against Maine, lead the Ivy League in scoring defense (66.3 ppg), 3-point defense (.263) and field goal defense (.390).
The Bears are a two-man show with Cambridge and sophomore Tamenang Choh who is averaging 11.2 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. He’s only 6’5 but plays well above his listed size. Both players play fast and aggressive, specifically Choh on the boards. Canisius has the size to handle them, but will they be out-hustled?
The Griffs may have had their best game of the season in their last game, a 70-66 come-from-behind win over Siena. I say the ‘best game’ because for the first time this season we saw Canisius’ two stars, Isaiah Reese and Takal Molson, finally look like stars.
Molson scored a game-high 23 points on 8-of-16 shooting, while adding eight rebounds. He was aggressive and made it a point to penetrate the paint with consistency, something he lacked in previous games.
Reese, who has struggled even more than Molson, looked the like Isaiah Reese of last season–the one who earned Preseason Player of the Year honors. He scored 20 points and for the third time all season, shot above .500 from the floor. He also added eight rebounds and three assists, but made an impact defensively with five steals.
The most important stat to me: Reese was 6-for-6 from the free throw line. Coming into the game, he had made six free throws all season. He has not been driving the lane, drawing fouls or showing the slightest sign of aggression all year–too often he was settling for three-pointers or fadeaway two-pointers. Last year Reese shot 84 free throws in 33 games (2.5 per game), this year he had 14 attempts in 12 games.
If Reese and Molson are officially back, so are the Griffs.
Brown and Canisius have met six times, dating back to 1959-60, with the Golden Griffiths holding a 5-1 series advantage. Canisius has won the last four meetings, including a 59-55 decision in 2005-06, the last time the two teams met. Brown’s win over Canisius came in 1967-68, an 81-62 Bears victory.
LINE: -2 Brown
Dan’s Bet: +2 Canisius
Score Prediction: Canisius 72 Brown 67